By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent
NASHVILLE — While media consultant Holland Cooke is covering the sessions at this year’s RAIN Summit and the NAB/RAB Radio Show, I’ve been talking to people in the hallways and am jotting down what I hear for TALKERS readers.
TrafficCarma is one of the sponsors at this year’s RAIN Summit and TrafficCast CEO Al McGowan tells TALKERS, “TrafficCarma is a mobile app for commuters. They don’t need turn-by-turn navigation, which is how traffic is typically shown on a device. For most of drives — like to work, to home, the airport and so on — people know where they’re going, and three or four ways to get there. TrafficCarma is designed to quickly advise the best way at the time. And so it’s a lot like what radio and TV have been doing for 30 years – talking about commuting conditions. Our objective with TrafficCarma is to enable broadcasters to extend that well-earned position of advising commuters to the mobile device, and to extend advertiser relationships there as well.”
PODTRAK CEO Mark McCreary says, “The podcast audience index is high for education and income, so the shows that attract that audience will do well in podcasting. Shows that attract listeners in an on-demand scenario – what’s the content I can only get from this show?, and Do I look forward to the next show?, – those are the types of shows that will do well.”
Research firm MusicWatch’s managing partner Russ Crupnick believes consumers are spending a lot of time on their playlists. “Ninety percent of Spotify Premium and Apple Music users have listened to or created playlists. Nine out of every 10 users create their own playlists. Almost half of playlisters have listened to their favorite playlist more than 10 times. What listeners want is familiarity – what genre is more important to them. They don’t care who or what creates the playlist, it matters to them if the songs are good. Radio is radio and has its own unique usefulness. We did a study asking streamers to rank all of their options, including AM/FM radio, and it was shocking to find that FM radio for music was not seen as competing very well against Pandora or Spotify. It’s about the fundamentals – the selection of music and variety. It’s less about how to compete with Pandora and more of a re-evaluation of how to bring a better music experience to our target audience.”
Valerie Geller, presdient of Geller Media International says, “You have to give people a unique experience they can’t get elsewhere.” When talking about younger listeners and talk radio, Geller adds, “For 15 years radio ignored the young audience and milked the cows instead of trying to work with the young ones. Because of that we raised a generation of young people who just aren’t interested. Radio has to do some reinventing and be multi-platform. We need to go where young people are and reach them.”
With regard to music, Geller says, “If the only way you can get tickets to a concert is by being caller 17 to a radio show, then you better believe people will listen to radio and call in. Offer something on-air over terrestrial radio you cannot get anywhere else.”
Jeff McKay, a veteran New York-based operations manager, newsman and traffic reporter, is a special features correspondent for TALKERS and RadioInfo. He can be emailed at McKayway@aol.com.